BHP – Olympic Dam Expansion – South Australia - Project Profile
"BHP – Olympic Dam Expansion – South Australia - Project Profile" contains information on the scope of the project including project overview and location. The profile also details project ownership and funding, gives a full project description, as well as information on contracts, tendering and key project contacts.
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BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP) is planning to undertake the expansion of Olympic Dam Mine in South Australia, Australia.
The project involves the construction of a pilot processing plant inducing laboratory and small-scale trials of an ore processing technique known as heap leaching.
WorleyParsons Ltd and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. have been appointed as pre-feasibility study consultants; and AECOM Technology Corporation, Gamut Consulting Pty Ltd, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., Hyder Consulting, URS Australia Pty Ltd, Arup BV, KBR and Jacobs Engineering Group (Sinclair Knight Merz) as environment consultants for the project.
Hatch Energy Ltd has been appointed as consulting engineer. The scope of work includes the provision of engineering services to thickener/filtration unit operations and tailings storage facility including input into design and cost estimation, pre-feasibility study on washing and solids liquid separation circuits within the Olympic Dam flowsheet, additional work on tailings storage facility and evaporation ponds, based on updated design criteria design and coordination of paste thickener pilot plant trials on site to obtain sufficient data to evaluate the application of paste thickener technology.
In 2006, the draft proposal for expansion plans was announced. In 2007, a pre-feasibility study for the expansion plans was completed.
On May 1, 2009, the environmental impact statement (EIS) was released for public consultation for a period of 14 weeks. The consultation period ended on August 7, 2009.
In December 2010, the supplementary environmental impact statement (SEIS) was submitted for review to the Australian, South Australian and Northern Territory Governments. In May 2011, the final SEIS was released to public.
In October 2011, the project received federal and state's environmental approval.
In August 2012, BHP cancelled the project plans due to falling commodity prices and higher costs. However, BHP started hoping to trial a hi-tech method of extracting minerals from ore at Olympic Dam and undertakes financial modeling of expansion options.
BHP started its investigation towards an alternative, less capital-intensive design of the Olympic Dam expansion, involving new technologies, to substantially improve the economics of the project. A number of new mining and processing technologies are being evaluated to determine the best development path. However, laboratory and pilot scale trials of heap leaching as an alternative process for extracting metals from ore mined underground have shown promising results to date.
In order to further test this processing method at a larger and more integrated scale, BHP has lodged an application for assessment by the Australian and South Australian Governments to construct and operate a demonstration plant on the existing mining lease at Olympic Dam.
In July 2014, BHP applied to the Federal and State Governments to build a pilot processing plant inducing laboratory and small-scale trials of an ore processing technique known as heap leaching, which was approved in September 2014.
The expansion plans depends on the success of an acid heap leach pilot test, which if successful, would result in a bigger plant that worked in parallel with Olympic Dam’s current concentrator and smelter. This approach will reduce the capital intensity of the mine expansion and surface infrastructure.
In January 2015, BHP applied for permission to increase the tailings storage capacity at its Olympic Dam copper, uranium and gold mine. BHP requested to increase the current design height of one of its radioactive storage ponds from 30m above ground level, to 40m above ground level and to increase the waste storage capacity from 48.4 million m3 to 64.8 million m3. With this proposal, BHP is hoping to extend the life of facility by five years, and to avoid the construction of an entirely new facility.
BHP are seeking approval to increase the height of their tailings dams at the Olympic Dam mine and subject to approvals the expansion at the Olympic Dam is expected to complete by 2025.
As of May 2017, the study activities are underway.
Planning Authority: Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE)
Pre-feasibility Study Consultants: WorleyParsons Ltd, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc
Environmental Consultants: AECOM Technology Corporation, Gamut Consulting Pty Ltd, Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc., Hyder Consulting, URS Australia Pty Ltd, Arup BV, KBR, Jacobs Engineering Group
Consulting Engineer: Hatch Energy LtdScope
The project involves the development of an open pit mine and related infrastructure facilities at 560km north-west of Adelaide, South Australia.
The US$3,000 million project includes the following:
1. Increment of tailings storage capacity
2. Increment of current design height of one of radioactive storage ponds from 30m above ground level to 40m above ground level
3. Increment of waste storage capacity from 48.4 million m3 to 64.8 million m3Reasons To Buy
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